Morimoto – Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day at Morimoto in Philadelphia seems to have become a family tradition over the last decade… and for good reason. As patrons of the restaurants since it opened, this recent trip was welcomed with great additions to the menu, a completely reworked dessert menu and updated plating. Bringing innovative artistic elements, mouth dropping flavors and superb ingredients, this last trip to Morimoto exceeded our high expectations of what is a Morimoto experience.
The wagyu dumplings consisted of wonderfully tender and deliciously moist beef. The accompanying broth was a perfect match, adding just a bit of sweet and spiciness. Everything was in-balance and this plate lasted all of 15 seconds on the table before being devoured. Overall this was a tasty new addition and the plating was equally spectacular.
Although, probably one of the oldest dishes on the menu, the 10 hour pork is still my favorite dish. The braised pork belly is slightly sweet, salty and oh so rich. The congee when eaten with the pork is remarkably addictive. I don’t think I’ve ever not ordered a plate of the 10 hour pork in 15 years of going to this restaurant and I highly doubt the trend won’t continue.
This is another one of those dishes my family has enjoyed every time visiting the restaurant since it opened. The tempura battered rock shrimp are light, crispy and just the right level of spicy. Morimoto does have other variations of this dish in his other restaurants, but the kochujan is still hands down the best… A must order!
Morimoto has always had several types of warm noodle dishes on the menu whether it was the soba carbonara, uni carbonara and now this version which tasted like a cacio e pepe of sorts. Cacio e Nori is closer to what I would describe this dish. The pepper was substituted for a some delicious high test nori, the scallions added an extra layer of flavor and the grated cheese when matched really worked. I love this pasta, it was so simplistic, yet so exotic tasting. My mom probably would have devoured another bowl of these and that’s saying a lot.
The fish quality at this restaurant is remarkable. Everything is extremely fresh, very tasty and handled with the care it deserves. If you love sushi or sashimi then this is your place!
Black Cod Miso is classic Japanese. The one at Morimoto is perfect. Crispy skin, tender moist flesh and wonderfully miso. There’s nothing to change on this plate and it’s been a classic on the menu forever.
What a lovely new addition to the menu. This dish screamed Spring with every bite, although my Uncle was guarding it with vigor. The Sea Bass was cooked perfectly, the vegetables added great texture and pop to the plate and then there’s the dashi (which was eaten to the last drop).
There are rice dishes and then there’s the Ichi Yaki Bop at Morimoto. This dish puts all other rice dishes to shame. Think fried rice, served in a 400 degree stone bowl. Seasonal vegetables, nori, yellowtail cooked on the stone medium rare and this amazing ginger soy seasoning is everything. It’s a theatrical dish start to last bite. The crunchy bits of rice are just amazing, singed on the stone will keep you wanting more.
Toban Yaki is a marvelous stewed dish. The scallops, prawns, king crab are perfectly cooked in this miso, buttery broth. I love this dish and I can’t say enough how good it is. There’s so many great things to pick on the menu, but this is the entrée I come back to order the most.
Desserts were always interesting at Morimoto in Philly for a while, but with the recent reworking by Morimoto’s main Pastry chef, they are at a whole other level. The tart was theatrical, with burning 151 liquor ,who doesn’t love a little fire? The flavors and textures were great. Each bite different from the last. The second desert however was marvelous, The Milk Chocolate Key Lime Pie was kinda the tables holy shit moment of the evening. The pie was paired with chocolate crunch, key lime meringue and raspberry-wasabi sorbet. Unreal at how good it was. New layers, textures on each spoonful. Do order this Key Lime Pie.
Mother’s Day spent home Mom and the rest of the family is always a great time. The experience and food at Morimoto this year took it to a whole other level. We probably have gone to Chef Morimoto’s restaurants a bit too much over the years, but there has never been anything resembling a bad meal. His Philadelphia restaurant was opened 3 weeks before my 15th Birthday and the food has been a consistently good meal ever since…. 15 years later!
I highly recommend eating at any of the other Morimoto Locations
Pick up your copy of Morimoto’s wonderful cookbook Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking It’s a beautifully written and highly visual cookbook that has given me a lot of inspiration over the years.